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Refugee Students Experience Coronado Beach In Outreach Event

An instructor, Dustin Punches, teaches students how to paddleboard in Coronado, July 7, 2015.
Christopher Maue
An instructor, Dustin Punches, teaches students how to paddleboard in Coronado, July 7, 2015.
Refugee Students Experience Coronado Beach In Outreach Event

About 50 students from El Cajon High were treated to a day at the beach on Tuesday.

The students, all of whom are refugees, participated in the event at Coronado Tidelands Park organized by Outdoor Outreach. Organizers said it was their way to create a deeper connection for the students and their new home.

"The majority of these kids come from Iraq, and they’re refugees," said Ben McCue, Outdoor Outreach coordinator. "And a lot of them have gone through a lot of challenge in their life. They’re recently arrived to San Diego. They’re looking for a connection to the greater San Diego community and what better way to do than to take them out into the outdoors. And introduce them to a some of the activities that a lot of us take for granted.”

For student Rawnaq Behnam the event was "amazing."

"This is my first time being in paddleboard," Behnam said. "I fell down only one time, and then they helped me."

Aside from paddleboarding, the students also picked up trash along the shore.